Report of harassment by man near lake

Liz Bell

A YOUNG Gippsland woman who was harassed and intimidated by a man at Lake Guthridge in Sale on Monday night is warning other women to be alert.

The 23-year-old women, who does not want to be identified, told the Gippsland Times she was sitting in her car waiting for a friend in one of the car park areas on the south side of Lake Guthridge about 7.30pm, when a man in a silver Ford four wheel drive repeatedly drove past her, slowing down to stare at her each time.

The woman said the man, who she described as in his mid-50s and wearing a high-visibility top and a blue cap or hat, eventually pulled up next to her car and gestured to her several times to wind down her window and look at him.

When she continued to refuse to engage with him, the man then reversed his car and parked behind her to box her in, before eventually leaving and gesturing to her to follow him.

She said he waited for a short time at the end of the road, but returned to her car when she failed to follow him.

Luckily, at that time the woman’s male friend arrived and the man sped off.

Still shaken the next day by the “frightening” experience, the woman said she wanted others to be alert and careful when out alone.

She said she had received a social media report from another young woman who had recently noticed a silver four wheel drive in Foster St near McMillan Park slowing down and watching girls as they walked the lake.

“If you’re walking alone early morning or in the evening, be careful,” the woman who reported the incident on Monday said.

“It was lucky that I had a friend pull up at the right time and when he saw this, he left.”

The woman phoned Sale police, who she said told her they would increase patrols in the area.

A police spokeswoman said an official report of the incident had not yet been received.

But she said police regularly patrolled the lake area, and would increase their presence there following the incident.